When Major Dhyanchand rejected the offer of ‘Hitler’, got the title of ‘Magician of Hockey’

It was then that the charismatic hockey game of Major Dhyan Chand made everyone go crazy. If any player from India was first named with respect among the best hockey players of the world, it was Major Dhyan Chand. He has equaled Don Bradman in hockey, Pele in football and Mohammad Ali in boxing. He was the only hockey player from India to have won gold medals in three consecutive Olympics and led India to medal winning teams in all three Olympics.

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The last hockey match between India and Germany was to be played at the Berlin Olympics on 14 August 1936. The match could not be played that day due to incessant rain. But the craze of the people for that match was that when the match took place the next day on August 15, the stadium was packed. German dictator Hitler was also present there at that time. Major Dhyan Chand played barefoot without wearing shoes on the wet ground and defeated Germany badly. Dhyanchand’s game running barefoot on the field made a dictator like Hitler his friend. He was so impressed with Dhyan Chand’s game that he offered him a higher rank in his army in exchange for playing for Germany.

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Dhyan Chand politely turned down Hitler’s offer, saying that India was his country which he loved more than his life. He said that he would continue to play for India till the last minute. Call it the effect of Dhyanchand’s personality that even after rejecting his offer, a dictator like Hitler did not get angry with him and gave Major Dhyanchand the title of ‘Hockey Wizard’.


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